Saturday, July 23, 2016

Becky Morgan (41) on cusp of maiden pro 

victory in AAM Ladies' Scottish Open


By Bethan Cutler, LET Media Manager

Irvine, Ayrshire: Becky Morgan, pictured above, set up a great opportunity for a first Ladies European Tour title after a second round of 66 gave her a three-stroke leading heading into the final round at the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open.

The 41-year-old Welshwoman had a second bogey-free round on the testing Dundonald Links lay-out in North Ayrshire to end the day three clear of Sweden’s Linda Wessberg and Frenchwoman Isabelle Boineau.

Rookie professional Angel Yin of the United States, 17, and overnight leader Gwladys Nocera of France are tied for fourth on five-under while social media sensation Paige Spiranac of the United States defied her critics by making the cut at seven-over-par.

Morgan, who has four times been a bridesmaid in her 16 years as a professional, with two runner-up places on the LET and two on the LPGA Tour, started the second round with a birdie on the 10th and then eagled the long 18th
She moved one ahead of the field with a birdie on the first and added two more at the fifth and ninth for good measure.

“My putting has been great. I’ve holed a couple of bombs,” Morgan said. “I eagled the 18th today which was my ninth hole from about 45 feet and holed out from six feet really well. I haven’t had a bogey yet so it’s been good.

“I’ve been on tour 16 years. It’s been fairly consistent but I haven’t won, so it would be very nice. I guess I don’t really feel my age. I’ve been out here 16 years but it doesn’t really feel like it.”

Wessberg, the early clubhouse leader, fired a 67 to get in position to challenge for her fourth win on tour. This is Wessberg’s third appearance since the birth of her first child, a daughter called Sigrid, in mid-September. 
A 15th place finish in Morocco, followed by a tie for fourth in Pilsen has given her high hopes of a return to the winner’s circle for the first time since 2009. 
She was inspired by watching compatriot Henrik Stenson win The Open at Royal Troon and Alex Noren the men’s Scottish Open at Castle Stuart, as well as her caddie, Ally Berry, the 2012 Disabled Open champion.

Also at seven-under-par is third year LET player Isabelle Boineau, who has fond memories of playing at Dundonald Links in the 2007 Duke of York Trophy as an amateur.

Sally Watson is the leading Scot in a share of 11th on three under par, with two-time event winner Catriona Matthew in a tie for 18th on one over. 
At the other end of the leaderboard, Spiranac was delighted to make the cut in her second Ladies European Tour event. Six-over-par after her first six holes, she rallied with three straight birdies from the 18th to the second followed by seven straight pars for a 75 that left her on the bubble at seven-over-par.

She said: “I started off so bad through five holes I was thinking, ‘don’t shoot 80’, but I got it back and made three birdies in a row so it felt good. It was good to come through today and shoot a decent round after how bad my start was.”

Due to TV broadcast times, the third round at Dundonald Linkswill start at 7.10am on Sunday, with the leaders teeing off at 9am

 Par 144 (2x72)
134 B Morgan (Wales) 68 66
137 L Wessberg (Sweden) 70 67, I Boineau (France) 70 67
139 A Yin (USA) 69 70, G Nocera (France) 67 72
140 G Hall (England) 72 68, S Kemp (Australia) 69 71, B Allen (USA) 71 69, F Parker (England) 71 69, N K Madden (Denmark) 68 72
141 S Watson (Scotland) 70 71, H Burke (England) 68 73, C Woods (USA) 73 68

144 C Matthew 71 73, K Macdonald 71 73 (T19)
145 C Booth 75 70, G Dryburgh 72 73, P Pretswell 70 75, V Laing 70 75.

MISSED THE CUT (151 and better qualified)
152 K Walker (Scotland) 74 78
154 L Davies (England) 76 78
160 L Murray (Scotland) 79 81